Jo Swinson replaced as Lib Dem leader after losing seat

She only became leader of her party in July but has been unseated by the SNP's Amy Callaghan.

Jo Swinson: The party leader lost her seat to SNP. Getty
Jo Swinson: The party leader lost her seat to SNP.

Sir Ed Davey and Baroness Sal Brinton will become the joint acting leaders of the Liberal Democrats following Jo Swinson’s election defeat, the party has said.

A statement from the Liberal Democrats said: “The Liberal Democrats have this morning confirmed that Ed Davey MP and Baroness Sal Brinton will become the joint acting leaders of the Liberal Democrats.

“A leadership election will take place in the new year.”

Baroness Brinton, president of the Liberal Democrats, said: “I want to thank Jo Swinson for her honest and fearless leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

“In this election, we gained more votes than in 2017 and we have been joined by many new MPs.

“In the weeks ahead we will elect a new leader and our party will continue to be the rallying point for anyone who believes in a country where everyone has the chance to get on in life.”

Swinson lost her seat in East Dunbartonshire, becoming the first party leader to be ousted by voters in more than a century.

She only became leader of her party in July this year and the Lib Dems’ first ever female leader.

Swinson was unseated by the SNP’s Amy Callaghan, having won the seat back from the nationalists in the 2017 snap poll when Tim Farron was still leader of her party.

The 39-year-old lost to the SNP’s Amy Callaghan by just 149 votes.

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Swinson’s defeat marks the first time a major party leader has lost their seat in a UK general election since 1906.

Back in July, Swinson defeated Ed Davey to succeed Vince Cable as Lib Dem leader after securing the support of 63% of party members.

She was the first Scot to lead the party since Menzies Campbell, and the first to lead one of the main UK parties since Gordon Brown.

Swinson was also the youngest leader of any major UK party since David Cameron won the Tory leadership in 2005.

She was first elected to parliament in 2005, when she became the youngest MP in the House of Commons.

Swinson lost her East Dunbartonshire seat once before in 2015 to the SNP’s John Nicolson, in the nationalist surge of that year, before regaining it two years on.

Prior to that, during the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition, she served as employment minister from 2012 to 2015.

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